Finally the three poems I had accepted by TPR long ago have come to light, as featured offerings no less, the only new fare in the online aspect of this venerable (can you say, founded in 1957) journal. Based on previous entries in TPR's blog-format, my work will probably be at the top, on solo display, for at least a week, maybe more. The long brow-knotting wait was absolutely worth it!
The poems went up yesterday, and already one of them has 21 likes. Yowza, that number is inconceivable to me (in counterbalance, let me point out that the other two poems have four and one likes respectively). I feel as if, for a brief moment, my ouevre has been showcased on a major stage, Ryan Seacrest somewhere near, burbling.
Moments like this are exceedingly rare. When was the last time I was published in a golden era, blue chip journal?
Esoteric Owl trivia: In 2004, five of my poems were included in that almost peerless journal which published Sylvia Plath and many others, Chelsea.
In my own little world of toil, fussing over disorganized reams of half-edited poems, this is a milestone. And yet, of course, it would be foolish to gloat (for more than a day or two anyway ...) because life goes on, the glory fades, no book contract emerges, no call on the phone from some philanthropist: you write five drafts and edit dozens of poems a week? Wow, Here's my donation, you're a god!
It just is what it is.
Probably more than anything, this kind of publication is a danger. It could make me egotistical (witness this blog post); it could distract my concentration, tincture me petty, as if the world owed me.
(Heck, the world probably owes all of us; along with its ecstasies and miracles, it's a very unfair, mean and disturbing place--but that's another blog entry).
Seriously, if your primary reason for writing is to be recognized, you are missing the real power of poetry: to channel deep, provide a gateway for a voice that isn't really you, it is something that reaches paper if you have made yourself available by going into your pains, fears, joys ... Secret doors in your agonized heart open, things come out.
And in this, I believe, there is Good.
PS: A very special and extreme thank you to Chief Editor Sarah Marshall and Poetry Editor Sara J Sutter for working with me to get this done. They will always be heroes in the insular mythology of my little life.